Wetland use by breeding and postbreeding female mallards in the St. Lawrence River Valley

Losito, M., P.; Baldassarre, G., A.

Wilson Bulletin 107(1): 55-63


DOI: 10.2307/4163512
Accession: 009733179

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We examined the use of wetland habitats by female Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos from March 1990 through July 1992 in the St. Lawrence River Valley, a focus area under the North American Water-fowl Management Plan. Female Mallards spent most of their time breeding in forested-live wetlands (40%) and postbreeding in forested-dead wetlands (35%). According to wetland availability data, breeding and postbreeding females indicated selectivity for emergent and scrub-shrub wetlands. During postbreeding, they used fewer ( hivin x = 2.6, +- 0.2 (SE)) individual wetlands of larger size ( hivin x = 192 ha +- 30 ha) compared to the breeding season ( hivin x numbers = 4.1 +- = 0.2, P = 0.003; hivin x size = 101 ha +- = 15 ha, P = 0.001). Moreover, females typically spent the postbreeding season in the vicinity of, or within, their breeding wetlands, hence conservation must simultaneously address breeding and postbreeding requirements. Protection of wetland complexes that contain a diversity of habitat types of differing sizes is recommended.